U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has sent a congratulatory message to Vietnam on the Southeast Asian country’s National Day (September 2), hailing the Hanoi-Washington relationship as moving forward to new heights this year.
“On behalf of the United States of America, I extend my congratulations to the people of Vietnam on the occasion of Vietnam’s National Day,” Blinken was quoted as saying in a press statement on the U.S. Department of State’s website on Wednesday.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll around the world, including within our two great countries.”
Vietnam and the U.S. have supported each other during these difficult times, as well as through growing health cooperation, exchanges of medical supplies and equipment, and most recently, with U.S. vaccine donations, the diplomat said.
Blinken was referring to over six million Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech doses the U.S. has donated to Vietnam in the year to date.
The opening of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Southeast Asia Regional Office in Hanoi provides a new platform to strengthen health security cooperation with Vietnam and the entire Indo-Pacific region, he remarked.
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris attended the launch of the office during her official visit to Vietnam last month.
“The U.S.-Vietnam relationship progressed to new heights in 2021 thanks to our joint efforts to overcome the past and look towards a brighter future for our people,” Blinken said
The top diplomat also mentioned Vietnamese State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s speech at the U.S.-hosted Leaders’ Climate Summit on April 23, sayng it highlighted the two countries’ potential to collaborate in combating the climate crisis.
The visits of Vice President Harris in August and Secretary of Defense Austin in July reinforced the strength of the Vietnam-U.S. Comprehensive Partnership and Washington’s commitment to a strong, independent, and prosperous Vietnam, Blinken said.
“I send my best wishes to the government and people of Vietnam on your National Day and look forward to working closely with you to build back better from this pandemic,” he added.